District struggles with unemployment
Job seekers on the Brac can meet with representatives from the National Workforce Development Agency from Wednesday through Friday at the Department of Labour and Pensions office.
“We hear on a nearly daily basis from people looking for work,” Sister Islands District Commissioner Ernie Scott said.
The NWDA said in a press release that representatives will be on the Brac to meet with job seekers and employers to help with resumes, getting people registered in its computer system, and general job search assistance. They will also host a workshop on employer expectations at 2 p.m. Thursday.
Mr. Scott said when his office posts a job, “it’s common to get two to three dozen applications,” depending on the nature of the job.
However, he said applicants often do not have the skills for the job, have a criminal record or another barrier to getting a job with government.
Government does not keep annual statistics on unemployment in the Sister Islands. The most recent data from the 2010 Census shows a 7.7 percent unemployment rate on the Brac. Little Cayman has a 1.1 percent unemployment rate – two of the almost 200 people of the labor force. Unemployment countrywide that year was 6.2 percent, according to the Economic and Statistics Office.
Since 2010, the population of the Sister Islands has remained relatively steady, with about 1,850 people from the most recent Economic and Statistics Office estimates for 2014. Unemployment across the Cayman Islands fell to 4.7 percent last year, the lowest level since the 2008 global recession.
Employment in the Sister Islands is driven by public administration, construction, tourism and household employees, according to the last Census.
Last year, employment on the Brac took a front seat in the Legislative Assembly. Premier Alden McLaughlin said the island “is at a crossroads … population figures are dwindling, businesses are struggling.”
Sister Islands unemployment came to the fore during a debate over a development on the Brac. Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush said at the time that the island “is dying on its feet.”
The NWDA will be available to meet with people looking for work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at the Department of Labour and Pensions office, 256 Creek Road. Walk-ins are welcome, or job seekers can make an appointment by calling the NWDA office at 945-3114.